Infinite and Modern Warfare: A Divide Between Fans

Since its conception in 2003, Call of Duty has revolutionized the First Person Shooter genre with consistent annual releases and deepening footprints in esports. The release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2007 created an explosion of interest in the franchise, making it one of the most popular first person shooters in video game history. With the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 opening up a broader world of online play, more and more fans flocked to the competitive atmosphere.

Since then, fans have religiously followed each yearly release, but as titles become more futuristic, players have become sucked into the nostalgia of past favorites. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the first title to be packed with another game, Modern Warfare Remastered, and while some people see this to be an intelligent move financially, others see it as an unfortunate division. What could this mean for future esports and Call of Duty in general?

It’s no surprise that fans began hoping for a competitive return for the Call of Duty classic, with many identifying the remastered title as the “new” anticipated release. The excitement surrounding the return of “boot-on-the-ground” play has swept through the hype of Infinite Warfare, and several professional figures have recently been pretty vocal about it.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare not only built the foundation of future Call of Duty titles. It became the platform that launched the careers of several esports figures. Veteran player Matt “NaDeSHoT” Haag began his start here, and since the announcement of the remastered title, he has toyed with the idea of returning to his competitive roots, at least when it comes to Gamebattles.

Other veteran pros like Will “BigTymer” Johnson have also expressed interest in returning, and the rumblings of other retired players has left many people excited. With such top figures considering some sort of return, even in a smaller Gamebattles setting, how could this shift the interest in the CWL-focused Infinite Warfare? Is there a possibility that we could see more attention than expected thrown toward the classic title?

While players are wondering about the competitive split, others are comparing the two titles’ gameplay mechanics. Do boots-on-the-ground titles like Modern Warfare require more skill than the futuristic games like Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3? Many people are torn.

Call of Duty has always been known for its faster, more reflex-based combat. In traditional titles, gunskill was best combined with more strategical aspects of the games such as positioning, timing, and general knowledge of the game. Many people believe that the addition of jetpack and wall-running gameplay reduces the necessity of past strategical elements to rely more on player movement and quick aiming.

Past titles favored the intelligence of the players who learned the essentials of map control, choke points, and spawning. There was no room for error. If a player rushed into a bomb zone, there was no knee jerk reaction to obtain swift safety. No sliding, jump bursts, or erratic wall-running meant a sudden face-to-face gunfight which would rely almost purely on reflex and the type of weapon used. Errors carried heavy consequences, however, the futuristic qualities of recent titles introduced a huge dose of unpredictability.

Players have adapted to the evolving play styles of each specific title, however, returning to Modern Warfare will inevitably force the memory of a much slower and strategical play style that many may have forgotten. Mobility has always been a key aspect of each Call of Duty title. Black Ops introduced tweaks like the Dolphin Dive while titles like Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3 added thrust jumps, jetpack movement, and wall-running. Each ingredient has shaken the foundation of Call of Duty’s formula on multiple levels.

Unlike the recent releases, Modern Warfare’s mobility rests solely on the weapons and classes players choose. After players were able to grab a taste of the remastered game at Call of Duty XP, many compared the game to quicksand. Sub machine gun players found themselves moving at a slightly faster rate than those carrying assault rifles, a trait that forces a specific play style. With no strafe jumping or flying across the map like in games such as Black Ops 3, a person’s play style relies dramatically on the weapons used, especially since perks and attachments like quickdraw can’t be added to influence gameplay.

However one possible issue could plague Modern Warfare: Killstreaks.

Unlike the scorestreaks in more recent titles, Modern Warfare relies on a strict 3–5–7 killstreak tier. When the game was in its prime, the killstreak balance seemed pretty fair, however, as people have become more adaptable to the Call of Duty style and skill has increased, these killstreaks could become a nuisance. As of right now, each killstreak can build into another one, and many people who were able to test out the remastered game revealed that they could call in multiple airstrikes and helicopters in a single match.

With such dramatic differences and pros and cons between the old and the new, it’s possible that we could witness a huge divide between fans. Despite the fact that the CWL will be primarily focused on promoting Infinite Warfare, no one can deny the newfound energy Modern Warfare Remastered has ignited.

Can nostalgia overwhelm the new?